After winning the painful battle against cancer, the actress returned to Mumbai in December.
On Saturday, at the India Today Conclave 2019, Sonali got a little teary-eyed as she opened up about the toughest part of her cancer journey.
Sonali Bendre gets emotional talking about cancer battle
Sonali explains how her son became caretaker during her treatment
At the conclave, Sonali talked about why she brought along her son, Ranveer, to New York during her chemotherapy.
She explained how her son would keep "tip-toeing" around her making sure she is alright, is taking her medicines and eating properly.
That's when Sonali saw a sense of maturity in her 13-year-old son and she insisted on bringing him with her.
Ranveer was relieved to see his mother's chemotherapy procedure
Sonali further explained that when her son saw the chemotherapy procedure he said, "Oh it's not so bad."
Apparently, Ranveer had pictured "a lot of blood around, with many tubes coming out of his mother's nose," and was relieved that it'll just be an IV.
Eventually, she and Ranveer realized that chemotherapy is nothing to be afraid of, but something that's going to make her better.
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Sonali thought she did 'something wrong' which 'caused' her cancer
Thereafter, Sonali said that at first, she didn't understand why she got cancer as she thought of herself as a pretty positive person.
"Everyone said, 'Your lifestyle was never like that. How did it happen to you?' I actually thought that it was me doing something wrong and that I have caused it," she said, adding she went to see a psychiatrist regarding this.
Psychiatrist gave Sonali the answer she needed to hear
Sonali asked her psychiatrist if she has any negative thoughts or if she's being delusional.
"The line that he said is the hoarding for me in my life. He said, 'Sonali, cancer is caused by genetics or virus. If thoughts could cause or cure cancer, I would be the richest man on this earth because I deal with thoughts,'" she said.
Toughest part of the journey was the surgery, says Sonali
When asked about the toughest part of her journey, Sonali said it was the surgery.
She had initially thought that it'd be a minimally invasive surgery but the cancer had spread a lot and doctors had to cut her up.
"I have a scar which is 20 inches on my midriff. I got so hyper about it...I was so frightened of it," she said.
Sonali realized the scar is something that made her better
Sonali then said that she realized that although the scar would always be there on her body, it is also not something to be scared of, but it made her better.
The other toughest part she said was before the surgery when her sister hugged her.
She told her sister, "Don't be dramatic, I am coming back...See you on the other side."
Sonali once thought she might not come back from surgery
Sonali's sister also supported her spirit.
However, a tiny thought did enter Sonali's mind that what if she doesn't come back.
"I've been through a lot of physical pain in this journey but thinking that I might not be coming back, I might not be there for my family, for my son...what's more painful than that for me," a teary-eyed Sonali said.
'Mental pain is more painful than the physical pain'
"I was happy when I came out of the hospital and said yes, I'm alive," Sonali said, adding that it was the mental pain which is "more painful than the physical pain."
"It highlights how our minds can make the pain more and same way it can make it less also. So much of it is in mind," she said.